CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Amoreuxia gonzalezii

Photographer:
Lynda Pritchett-Kozak

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CPC National Collection Plant Profile

Amoreuxia gonzalezii


Family: 
Bixaceae  
Common Names: 
saiya, Santa Rita yellowshow, zaya
Author: 
Sprague & Riley
Growth Habit: 
Forb/herb
CPC Number: 
4459

Distribution
Protection
Conservation
References


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Amoreuxia gonzaleziienlarge
Photographer: Lynda Pritchett-Kozak


Amoreuxia gonzalezii is Not Sponsored
Primary custodian for this plant in the CPC National Collection of Endangered Plants is: 
Kathleen C. Rice contributed to this Plant Profile.

 
Amoreuxia gonzalezii


Herbaceous perennial up to 8 cm tall from a fusiform tuberous rootstock. Leaf blades alternate, long petioled, 3 to 6 cm wide, deeply 5 to 7 parted, dark green above and paler or with scattered dark brown spots beneath. Petals 3 cm long, bright orange-yellow with 1 or 2 brownish-carmine spots near the base (Shreve and Wiggins 1964). However flowers are descrived as 'pale salmon with lowermost anthers cream-colored and uppermost anthers purple. A. Palmativida flowers are deel salmon orange with anthers that are all purple (Hodgson 1989). Fo9wers close in daytime, making species determination challenging. The ovary is densely silky-pubescent in A. gonzalezii but puberulent-pappilose in A. palmatifida. Fruits are pendant ellipsoidal, 4.5-8 cm long, longitudinally striate and brownish. The brown seeds are globose and the aril is readily removed.The anthers and the shape of the fruits and seeds separate it from A. palmatifida, which has all purple anthers, and rounded fruits with kidney-shaped seeds.

The range of A. gonzalezii overlaps with the range of A. palmatifida. Fruits and flowers are needed to distinguish the two species with certainty. Fruits of A. gonzalezii are elipsoid, while fruits of A. palmatifida are globose, 3-4 cm long, weakly striate, and with scattered reddish glands intermingled with fine hairs. A. palmatifida has leaf blades that have 7-9 lobes and coarsely serrave with seeds that are kidney-shaped and not globose. There is no evidence of hybridization between the two species of Amoreuxia. A. gonzalezii could be confused with manihot.

Distribution & Occurrence

State Range
  Arizona
State Range of  Amoreuxia gonzalezii
Habitat
  In Sonora, the populations around Mazocahue-Aconchi (Rio Sonora and Rio Moctezuma watersheds) are found on an east facing gentle granitic slope (USFWS 1996).

In the United States, Amoreuxia gonzalezii is known only from the Santa Rita Mountains in Santa Cruz county. It is found on a single limestone outcrop with four weakly defined populations totaling less than 65 plants. (Hodgson 1994) Elevation ranges from 4,200 ft to 4,500 ft in Arizona.

In Arizona, associated speciees include Eysenhardtia, Erythrina, Cercidium floridum, Tecoma stans, Agave schottii, Heteropogon contortus, Fouquieria splendens, Calliandra eriophylla, Opuntia spp,. Krameria grayii, Janusia gracilis, Agave palmeri, Gossypium thurberi, Abutilon parishii, Abutilon palmeri, and Hibiscus coulteri.

Distribution
  Devil's Cash Box, Santa Rita Mountains, Santa Cruz County. Would expect to find it south of Tucson into Cochise County (Hodgson 1994). About 8 sites: Southern Arizona south to Sonora, Mexico and probably Baja California.

A. palmatifida, the more common species extends from Arizona far south into central America, while the distribution of the very rare A. gonzalezii is not known. Few herbarium specimens of the species have been made. A. gonzalezii appears to be an extremely rare plant, known only from two localities in the Santa Rita Mountains in southern Arizona. In Sonora, it is known to occur in seven to nine localities.

Number Left
  There are less than 5 populations known in the known in the US. Sites in Sonora, Mexico have been documented, but further surveys are necessary.

Protection

Global Rank:  
G1
 
4/15/2003
Guide to Global Ranks
Federal Status:  
SC
 
Guide to Federal Status
Recovery Plan:  
No
 

State/Area Protection
  State/Area Rank Status Date  
  Arizona S1 8/1/2002  
  Sonora S2 8/23/1991  

Conservation, Ecology & Research

Ecological Relationships
  Dependent on mid-summer rains for flowering. Flowers July-September with flowers closing after midday. Pollen may be released by vibrations caused by bees buzzing nearby. Fruit develops in late July and August, maturing from September to mid-october.
Amoreuxia gonzalezii, an obligate outcrosser, is pollinated by bees. (Hodgson 1994)
The fleshy roots of both species were eaten by the Seri, Pima and Tohono O'odam people living in the area.

Threats
  Threats to plants besides its limited occurrence include development, grazing, mining, habitat degradation due to overgrazing, competition with introduced exotic grasses and rarity (Hodgson 1994).
Javelina dig up roots to eat.
It is no longer used as food by Native Americans (Hodgson 1989a).

Current Research Summary
  There has been a great deal of debate as to which family this species belongs to. It was last placed in Cochlospermaceae, a currently accepted designation (Sprague 1922).

Current Management Summary
  Coronado National Forest, private land.

Research Management Needs
  In the future, surveys for additional populations in the U.S. and Mexico are needed. Research needs include monitoring, understanding the mexican status, avoiding direct impacts through urbanization or mining, collection of herbarium specimens, and additional surveys on potential habitat.

Monitoring Efforts
  None

Ex Situ Needs
  Desert Botanical Garden has 142 seeds collected in Arizona and 72 seeds collected in Mexico. Garden staff has produced seed in cultivation by rubbing flowers together. Repeat visits to the population in the Santa Catalina Mountains confirm the low reproductivity of plants in the U.S. Removal of seeds from habitat must carefully be considered on an annual basis.

References

Books (Single Authors)

Kartesz, J.T. 1993. Species distribution data for vascular plants of 70 geographical areas, from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kartesz, J.T. 1996. Species distribution data at state and province level for vascular plant taxa of the United States, Canada, and Greenland (accepted records), from unpublished data files at the North Carolina Botanical Garden.

Kearney, T.H.; Peebles, R.H. 1973. Arizona flora. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 1085p.

Rutman, S. 1992. Handbook of Arizona's endangered, threatened, and candidate plants. Phoenix, Arizona: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service.

Shreve, F.; Wiggins, I.L. 1964. Vegetation and flora of the Sonoran Desert. Stanford, CA: Stanford Univ. Press. 1740p.

Books (Sections)

Kartesz, J.T. 1999. A synonymized checklist of the vascular flora of the U.S., Canada, and Greenland. In: Kartesz, J.T.; Meacham, C.A., editors. Synthesis of the North American Flora, Version 1.0. North Carolina Botanical Garden. Chapel Hill, NC.

Electronic Sources

(2000). Center for Plant Conservation's National Living Collection--Profiles. Desert Botanical Garden. http://www.dbg.org/Collections/cpc.html. Accessed: 2002.

Arizona Game and Fish Department. (1999). Plant Abstracts. Compiled and edited by the Heritage Data Management System, Arizona Game and Fish Department, Phoenix, AZ. http://www.gf.state.az.us/frames/fishwild/hdms_site/Abstracts/Plants/abstracts%20-%20plants.htm. Accessed: 2002.

Journal Articles

Cedano, M.M. 1998. First report of Amoreuxia gonzalezii Sprague ET Riley (Cochlospermaceae) in Jalisco, Mexico. Bol. Inst. Bot. (U. de G.) (University of Guadalahara). 5: 217-222.

Hodgson, W.C. 1989. A tale of two saiyas: conserving plant lore and gene pools. Agave. 3, 3

Sprague, T.A. 1922. A revision of Amoruexia. Bulletin of Miscellaneous Information, RBG, Kew. 3: 96-105.

USFWS. 1996. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants: Review of Plant Taxa that are Candidates for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species: Notice of Review. Proposed Rule. Federal Register. 61, 40: 7595-7613.

Reports

Fonseca, J.; Scalero, D. 1999. Determining Valuable Species within Pima County, AZ: a discussion paper for the Sonoran desert conservation plan. Tuscon, AZ: Pima County Flood Control District.

Hodgson, W. 1994. Amoreuxia gonzalezii Sprague and Riley: Status Report. Phoenix, AZ: Desert Botanical Garden. p.11.

Hodgson, W.C. 1989. Amoreuxia gonzalezii Sprague and Riley Annual Report. Prepared for Coronado National Forest. p.7.


  This profile was updated on 3/4/2010
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